Manny Pacquiao produced an all-time great performance to obliterate Keith Thurman in style, with Floyd Mayweather watching ringside
- Manny Pacquiao, 40, just beat Keith Thurman, 30, in style.
- Pacquiao knocked Thurman down in the opening round, confounded the American with his incredible energy, and bloodied his face with unrelenting punching.
- Thurman had his moments in what fast developed into a welterweight classic, but Pacquiao had too much class and was deserving of his decision win.
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Manny Pacquiao is not normal. He's just not. He's not like you, he's not like me, and he's not like many of his peers in boxing.
People, Pacquiao is a freak. He just is. He's a freak human, a freak athlete, and a freak fighter.Normal boxers shouldn't be doing what he's doing, aged 40.
Pacquiao shouldn't have such good movement, and the combination of intiuition and eye-to-hand-coordination to land absurd punch combinations, zipping in and out of danger having landed his fast shots, often without you knowing.
But that is exactly what he did in the very first round against Saturday opponent Keith Thurman, a man 10 years his junior, and an undefeated fighter to boot.
Pacquiao even knocked Thurman to the Las Vegas canvas, felling the Floridian fighter when he landed a straight left to the body which he followed up with a plumb hook to the face.
Watch the knockdown right here:
Again, this isn't normal. Thurman, in recent years, was seen as one of the top welterweights, perhaps even the best outside of Floyd Mayweather. But Mayweather, though watching ringside, is retired.And Thurman, after just a few rounds against Pacquiao, was clearly a level below the ageless Filipino, who showboated at the end of the second when he did the Muhammad Ali shuffle before going back to his corner.
Thurman may have had some success in the fourth, when he backed Pacquiao up, but Pacquiao fought back, throwing punches as he was moving forward, landing southpaw jabs, straight lefts, and uppercuts on the inside, dictating the fight completely.
Pacquiao's footwork continued to confound Thurman in the fifth, finishing the round having battered the American with punching so sharp, so powerful, it caused cutting, bruising damage. All Thurman could do was hobble back to his corner at the end of the round.
It took Thurman seven rounds to win a dominant one and he achieved the small victory by upping his work rate, boxing clever, moving, and hitting Pacquiao with 20 power punches compared to Pacquiao's five.
Though Pacquiao's defense got more porous as the fight got closer to its finish, the ring veteran's energy, craft, and counter jabbing seemingly got him back into the competition.
Thurman, though, reminded Pacquiao that though he was down on the scorecards, he certainly wasn't out, and closed the round with a thunderous shot that distorted Pacquiao's face when it was shown in slow-motion.
By the 10th, Thurman may have made a case for winning two or three of the previous four rounds, and should he have won the remaining three, he could have forced a close fight.
However, Pacquiao finished in style, bloodying Thurman's nose further, making his opponent wince with a body-weakening bodyshot, and sent him back to his corner breathing heavy.In the 12th, Pacquiao closed the show in style, earning a split decision with two scores of 115-112 against one bizarre score for Thurman of 114-113.
After the win, Pacquiao described the performance as "fun" before crediting Thurman as "a good boxer."
Pacquiao added: "I really love the fans, thank you for coming here. Thurman did his best. He's not an easy opponent. I was just blessed tonight.
"I think my next fight will be next year. After this fight, I go back to the Philippines."
Thurman said: "Manny Pacquiao's a truly great, legendary competitor."